Disruptive Technologies

Course site for Disruptive Technologies. Exploring identity, community, & design.

Tag: Design

Bittersweet, Like an Apple Removed from My Heart

So guess what? This is it. It’s a bittersweet moment as I sit here typing out my final blog post. I had so many goals and aspirations to achieve this semester and reached some while never thinking twice about some others. Then there are the goals that I achieved without intending to. You may be wondering what some of those goals are, but I’ve decided to not tell you. If you’re reading this, then let me tell you that you have been blessed with a magnificent brain that can come up with ideas that I could never dream of—don’t let me hold you back.


There is one thing that I learned this semester that I really think you should keep in mind. It’s all about people.

All of this. School, technology, families, the postal service, all of our communities, everything. Don’t take people for granted, but in turn, don’t take yourself for granted either. You’ve fought half the battle by just taking the moment to read this. It proves that you not only want to, but can do it. If you’re having this read to you, guess what, you still can.


After school special aside, this has been a great semester. It’s one of the first courses where I felt like whatever I put in I got in return. I definitely appreciated that it was taught and attended by university administrators–not to have an outlet to vent, but it was encouraging to see that the people behind so many emails care about improving the school and are motivated to do it with students in mind.

As you should know by now if you’ve been keeping up with this blog and course, we had iPads all semester. Needless to say that all my plots to keep mine have been thwarted by that nifty ID number on the back. Oh well. I must say that I don’t know if this semester could have been possible without them. They established a baseline technology that we could implement in whichever ways we saw fit to be successful in school. I frequently caught myself panicking if I left my iPad at home (moreso than if I left my phone). It has been everything this semester–never leaving my side. It took some getting used to, but wasn’t unbearable, and since it was new, it forced me to begin thinking out of the box in general. In essence, it was disruptive. Knowing that I would be giving the iPad back, I can speak honestly and say that I failed and didn’t push it as far as I could. As a broke college kid, I refused to spend money on it. If I had brought my own, or purchased it in the beginning, I think my selection of apps and utilities would have been much more in depth (would have had an external keyboard too). Do I think iPads should be implemented in education? Definitely. Will something new need to be added eventually? Definitely. Is that okay and natural? Definitely.


I bid you adieu, and may the dreams of a back button forever rest with you, my dear Future People.

Technically Yours,


Closing Remarks Chris W.

This class has been a great experience. Coming into this class I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Honestly, I enrolled in the class because I heard we’d get to use an iPad for a semester. While the iPad was nice, I’d say the best thing about this class were the excellent discussion we had in class and how fluid the syllabus was. This class has really opened my eyes to the subtle complexities of community development and really helped me define who I am as a person. The guest we had in class pushed me to do what I want in life (which is to work in the gaming industry). The last section, Design, helped me take a new approach to the creative process that I will definitely use later on in life.

This class has shown me a few apps that I really enjoyed using. In no particular order SwiftKey, Adaptxt, Evernote, and POP.

Adaptxt: If you want swept functionality on your iOS device I would definitely recommend this app. The user interface is clean and is very responsive.
SwiftKey: This is another third party keyboard that has the swipe functionality. From my experience sometimes the keyboard wouldn’t appear and you’d have to tap on the lobe icon more than once. Otherwise it is a great app to use.

Evernote: This app is a powerhouse! From presentations to website layouts Evernote can do it all!

POP: In the design section of the course both teams used this to make the layout of our apps which were our a part of our Final Synthesis.

Lastly, the iPad was really useful this entire semester. Slowly substituted paper with the iPad and it became an integral part of my day to day. This device is useful beyond belief and after this semester is over I will seriously consider buying one for myself.

Cheers to a great semester!

Right Shark’s CritQue

Design a mobile app that supports peer critiquing using gamification elements.

No change
Our approach to our design challenge is constantly evolving while the challenge remains the same.

After discussion with students some of their concerns were:
1: How to stop possible plagiarism?
2: What are the specific perks of being a Master in a category?
3: They felt feedback on prose is done better in person.


We sent out surveys and conducted group interviews with the population we are looking to connect with.
Stats from survey coming soon…

Weekly iPad Reflection Chris W

After almost a full semester of occupying the iPad, I don’t know how I am going to live without this thing.  All my assignments and a majority of my internet browsing are done using the iPad.

Stony brook University uses a website called Blackboard to distribute assignments, post grades and weekly reminders, and have the students interact with one another. I navigate blackboard exclusively form my iPad. The layout is nicer. The design is nicer. Everything is nicer on the app end of Blackboard.

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Web version of Blackboard

imageApp version of Blackboard

The main difference between the two is the active panel the app version has. It is easy to navigate the different tabs as well as see exactly where you are.

Too Disruptive Design Challenge for InteGreat App

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Too Disruptive Design Challenge:
How can we create an engaging social media platform / campaign called InteGreat, which will promote cross cultural events and activities at Stony Brook that encourage the diverse community at the university to develop an easy appreciation of, and deep respect for cultural differences within the community?

We are convinced that through social interaction, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds can get to know each other and at the same time participate in a nationwide movement to increase awareness that communities across America need to engage in activities that improve race relations.

We decided to focus on this app after discussing the pros and cons of the other app ideas put forward by:
Richard – Educational App to replace Blackboard
Katherine – App to airdrop notes to other students in close proximity
Chris – Task manager app that allows delegation and progress reports

One reason we decided on InteGreat was that the other three apps have certain areas that overlap, but we could not figure out how to combine these common features to create a compelling design challenge phrase. InteGreat seems like the most feasible app to create, and it has practical applications that are needed in the SBU community and in American society on a large scale.

Regarding INTEGRATION at Stony Brook, this is what we think we know:
SBU is an extremely diverse campus (but not necessarily integrated).
The diversity extends beyond each category into tons of sub-categories.
Students at SBU come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds:
– Variety of ethnicities – the percentage of each ethnicity that attends SBU.
– Variety of countries.
– Variety of places within those countries.
There are dozens of USG-funded clubs / groups based on religion, origin, interests, music, sports, art, academic areas, gender issues, politics, etc.
Number of members and funding that each club has and which clubs are most popular.
Integration is different than inclusion.

Here’s what we DON’T KNOW:
What efforts to increase integration at SBU already exist?
Do students, teachers, staff at SBU perceive a problem with integration?
What is Student Activities doing? Office of Cross Cultural Affairs? Study Abroad? International Students Services? Faculty? Advising (undergrad. colleges, ATAS, Honors, WISE, Scholars, Athletes)?
Are certain academic departments more aware of the state of the integration situation? Sociology? African Studies? Philosophy? History? Etc?
What is EOP doing (Educational Opportunity Program)?
What events have gone on in the last year at SBU to promote improve race relations?
What events are planned?
Have these events had an impact on individuals/communities and their integration within the community?
What is the general feeling of the SBU population to how different groups interact and work together?
What is the actual turnout from these events and is there any follow-up built into these types of meetings?
Do people want to break out of their shells and meet others?
Is the problem segregation or exclusion? These are two very different, but somewhat related terms.

This discussion and brainstorming is guiding us as we develop specific research questions, goals, and methodology.

Jay Loomis Slate Story: @ the MET

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Weekly Create with Adobe Slate Chris W.

This week I tried my hand at Adobe Slate. Here is what I made. The Adobe Slate interface is super easy. No need to know any html, JavaScript, or CSS to make a beautiful functioning website





Weekly iPad Reflection Chris W.


One app that would interesting to see in higher education is an app that shows students how much of their tuition is being wasted if they skip a class or something similar to that. This app’s purpose is to show students the dangers and costs of procrastination. If the students want it could give tips on better ways to allocate their time. The content would be clever and humorous. I’d like to call it CrnchTime.


(Late post because I need CrnchTime too)

Kate’s week 10 Create post

I created this slate document to provide my response to how I define design. I included some simple ideas I had about qualities usually investigated in the design process along with examples of how my illustrations utilize design.
Thoughts on Design Elements

Weekly Create – Shady

My personal definition: Design is the engineering of a product or service that best addresses a need.

If I had to define design with one world, I would have to say “Apple”.
Apple certainly understands the importance of design in their products. Their visually appealing devices are not necessarily superior to others, but their design appeal has catapult them into one of the most innovative companies nowadays, with earning in the billions.

Flute Design – Jay Loomis

When I think of [design] I imagine a process of exploring and experimenting with an open mind, guided by a specific purpose; problem solving and artistic expression intertwine to create a product that is useful and aesthetically pleasing.

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Click on the image to see a brief “Slate Presentation” on the roles of 3D printing in the design process of wind instruments that I create.

Please Google, May I Have Some More?

With all of this newfangled technology that’s being offered to us as students in 2015, there sometimes seems to be a disconnect between what’s helpful or good to use and how quickly we can actually use it. It’s 2015 so there’s no reason to not immediately reply to a text (even at 4:36 am), no reason I should not immediately know an answer in class, no reason I shouldn’t have an immediate comeback to someone else’s wit, and no reason I should have to wait on a table at 7 pm on a Friday night at T.G.I. FRiDAY’S. You know I’m joking, but people often forget to take a moment to breathe and realize that not everything has to be so immediate–if you’re shooting for a comeback, that’s another story. Funny is as funny does after all.

One thing that can be sped up, however, is productivity on mobile devices. Mobile apps were created in part to make things faster for the consumer. For students in particular, Google Apps for Education has been a great addition to our productivity toolkits. The problem with using them on a mobile device is that they’re often limited versions of the actual programs. Another issue (even when on desktops), is that the user has to create a project in one program, save, export, and maybe be able to upload it into another program for further edits. I propose a Course Management Software not completely unlike Blackboard or Moodle, but one that is based on Google Apps for Education.

This app would have all the general functionality of another CMS, but is set apart by the affordances of Google. When a professor uploads a PDF of a reading, I would be able to open and annotate without saving it to my device and opening in another app. I would be able to record my lectures and tag them appropriately for followup. One of the best parts about a Google-based CMS is the data creation portion. Instead of having all the Google Apps as part of separate programs, they would all appear on one main screen as a “toolbar selector.” For instance, I begin a new document and type out what I want to say (Docs toolbar), then I want to add a nice visual so I click on the LucidCharts toolbar option and immediately my toolbox items change, but my document remains. When finished with the document, I would have the option of saving in a variety of formats (depending on what media I used to create my project).

As a student that has been using an iPad for a few months now, I feel that I can adequately navigate through iOS quickly and efficiently. That being said, I often am just waiting on my apps to swap over (or to figure out how to export and reopen elsewhere). With a fully integrated app, I can probably save an entire 2 minutes a day. It may not seem like much, but over four years of education that’s almost 11 hours of time that can be spent elsewhere–quite possibly used to make even better work.

Do Not Press[ure] Me to Do Something


Big Red Button


We’ve probably all seen something similar to this online. The infamous Big Red Button that we are not allowed to press. I think that it is a great example of design. Why, you say? I’ll tell you. What is the first thing that you want to do when you see it? Press it! This object, is not only recognizable, but it implores you to use it without overtly saying to do so. You think that it is of your own will that you’re pressing the button–in fact, it must be your own choosing because the button said don’t press it.

For those visually inclined peeps, the contrast of smooth-edged red, and seemingly rough-edged white balance each other out. If you’re still not sure if this design is up to par in terms of artistic content because I made it in Microsoft Paint, I know of a great nation on the other side of the world that might help you decide.

Let me know what you choose. In the meantime, I’ve got a button to go press.

Technically Yours,


Ken’s Weekly Create: Design


Design involves the planning of an object’s look, feel, or functionality.

I made this image in Adobe Fireworks out of icons I found and modified to represent these different aspects of design. I chose the canvas size of 3236 x 2000 because its width to height is roughly the golden ratio.

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